The visa for digital nomads is a new resource that the country will put in the hands of remote workers in 2022. Since the other work permits have become stricter and more difficult to get for remote workers, this new type of visa is expected to meet the growing demand coming from this population.
Spanish New Digital Nomad Visa makes it easier for remote workers to work from Spain
In the past months consulates have become stricter with remote work when applying for a non-profit residency. The same applies to other residence permits, immigrating to Spain is increasingly difficult for remote workers. This is about to change in 2022 as the spanish government is planning on implementing a visa for digital nomads, which is of interest for any professional performing their work remotely as an independent or for a foreign entity.
What is the Digital Nomad Visa?
Due to COVID-19, Spain is preparing to launch a new visa dedicated exclusively to foreigners working remotely. The visa for digital nomads will allow teleworkers from all over the world to move and live in Spain while maintaining their lifestyle. The purpose for the authorization is to boost the country's incoming talent and attract more investment. If achieved, Spain would become a center for business throughout the world. The visa for digital nomads will be valid for one year with the possibility of renewal, start-ups or startups will receive tempting incentives for bold entrepreneurs who want to move to a new site.
Visa requirements for digital nomads in Spain
Since the specifics of this permit has not yet been fully developed from a legal perspective, the requirements are still blurry. However, we can already imagine that one of the main requirements is that the candidate remote worker has a demonstrable income from a job by a company outside of Spain. As such, based on the current state of the Spanish law regarding the status of non-tax resident, it's already possible to determine that the remote worker should demonstrate an income with less than 20% of revenues coming from a spanish company.
The visa for digital nomads will be a quick and simple procedure once everything requested by law has been gathered.
National Network of Remote worker villages are being developed along the visa for digital nomads
A program called the National Network of Welcoming Peoples for Teleworking is being developed. The project aims at repopulating villages in Spain that have been abandoned, making them an attractive place for those who live from remote work. Whether because it has reduced weekly living costs or because of the tranquility of a rural area, they are presented as an opportunity for foreigners who want to move to a new place.
Should you go for it? Our analysis
Despite its name, this visa doesn't seem to be mainly directed towards digital nomads, but seems to target remote-workers looking for an expatriation opportunity.
Digital nomads are known to move around the world on a very regular basis (an average of 6 destinations a year). If this first year of tax break can definitely be an interesting incentive for this population, the strength of the Spanish digital nomad visa, compares to other digital nomad visa schemes, resides mainly in its connection with the already existing non-resident status in Spain.
This status allows foreigners to benefit from very interesting tax advantages (not tax breaks!) for their first 5 years in Spain, which supposes a longer stay in the country to fully benefit from those measures.
It is very unlikely that a digital nomad will benefit from this second part of the scheme. However, this remains a very interesting tax incentive for Expats (or slowmads), who are looking for a longer stay in a particular destination.
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